Head Lice are an under-reported condition that affects millions of us every year. The International Journal of Dermatology reports that it's time we worked together to implement internationally accepted guidelines on how to hand outbreaks.
The prevalence of louse outbreaks in both underdeveloped and developed civilizations is a plague on all of us. Lice are still going strong in the modern age, making their way around schools or spreading infested clothing. With all our medical knowledge, there has yet to be a definitive treatment that eradicates lice, once and for all.
The Problem with Head Lice
The CDC estimates that between 6 and 12 million cases of head lice infestation occur in the USA each year. That's in just the USA alone and only refers to known outbreaks in children aged 3 - 11. Imagine the scope of the problem worldwide. There is no confirmed data on how long eggs will live in your hair, either. So, once you have rid yourself of the initial outbreak, you might find a second one ongoing a week, months, or even years later.
The problem of head lice infestation becomes a health issue in countries when the means to get rid of the lice are putting the health and lives of the people in that country at risk. Worse, most countries affected don't have a system for reporting outbreaks, so much of the problem is unchecked.
How to Treat Head Lice?
The paper written for the JOD was released in March 2021. It names several effective treatment methods which could form an international standard level of care. However, if we look at modern advice for treating head lice in general, it differs per nation. For example, the CDC in the US says one thing, while the NHS in the UK says another.
Here is how to treat head lice without future repercussions.
Treating Head Lice Medically
It is entirely possible to treat an outbreak of headlice medically. Lice doctors can be called to the suspected epidemic site, such as your home or a school. They can treat the patient on their premises or give you over-the-phone guidance on what to do next. Treating head lice medically is the most effective means of eradicating an outbreak and stopping it from returning.
Treating Head Lice Yourself
If you cannot attend a louse doctor appointment, you can try to treat head lice yourself using delousing shampoos. There is plenty of guidance on the CDC website, and you should be able to find the steps to treating head lice outbreak yourself here successfully. The critical thing to consider is that you need to be consistent. If you let your vigil drop, the infestation can quickly recover.
An International Standard for Head Lice treatments
We want to add our weight to the call made by the International Journal of Dermatology and say that it is time we had a proper set of guidelines. Given how long lice have plagued civilization and given the number of reported cases each year: it is time for WHO to take a stance on head lice, once and for all.